THE HERO – Rated R – 1 hr. 33 mins.
Starring Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Nick Offerman, Krysten Ritter and Katharine Ross
Brought to the big screen by Writer and Director Brett Haley, we meet ruggedly handsome actor Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott), making his way through life in his later years, without a care in the world, that is, until he receives a grave diagnosis, stopping him in his tracks.
As Lee is now forced to face mortality straight in the face, he struggles with his less than perfect relationship with his daughter Lucy (Krysten Ritter), which he feels he must find a way to rectify, before it is too late…
Now what is to come of Lee’s career, as no one is looking to hire an ailing ‘has been’, even if they do have a voice that stops women in their tracks. When a minimal encounter between Lee and the beautiful and much younger Charlotte (Laura Prepon) leads to a distraction relationship, it seems that Lee owes a big thanks to his friend, fellow actor and drug connection Jeremy Frost (Nick Offerman), for bringing Charlotte into his life.
Now, with the clock still clicking on his mortality, Lee must decide if he is going to face the demon inside him head on, using the latest advances of modern medicine in an attempt to stop his disease, or let it take him on his terms…as he rides off into the sunset…
I give THE HERO a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN & WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD: Seeing Elliott back on the big screen and in the leading role that Haley specifically for him was enjoyable, as who doesn’t enjoy viewing and hearing Elliott whenever given the opportunity! Offermann is perfectly cast too as the down and out actor/friend/drug dealer, keeping Lee in the throes of his self-medicating lifestyle. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised by Prepon’s performance, as she did actually go toe-to-toe with Elliott throughout this film. So why the “less than perfect” Review? Even though I hoped this film would be as legendary of a film as Elliott’s career, it was missing “the wow factor” I was hoping it would have. It was as if it wanted to become a sincere reflection of the life of an aging and ailing actor, as it pays homage to Lee and his real-life struggles, facing his mortality and his destiny straight in the face, but it just never really got there. THE HERO manages to draw you into the defects of real-life, portrayed by its casting of exceptional actors, ~ including Elliott’s wife in real-life, Katharine Ross. But sadly, THE HERO never become the outstanding film it could have been in my perception, thus leading me to suggest that if you have been waiting to see Elliott in his starring role, at a theater near you, then by all means, please do! However, if the trailer or this review does not encourage a trip to the theater for you, then you will be just as happy to catch this film in the comfort of your own home, when it is released on DVD or streaming.